Sino- Sri Lanka Publishing Cooperation
The 18th of September 2017, marking the Colombo Book Festival, the Colombo International Book Fair, saw a literary and cultural move forward in Sri Lanka with the Sino- Sri Lanka Publishing Cooperation taking place at the Bandaranaike Memorial International Conference Hall (BMICH), organized by Neptune Publications (Pvt) Ltd and Hunan Juvenile & Children’s Publishing House, China and sponsored by the Sri Lanka Book Publisher’s Association (SLBPA) and the China Publications Promotion Association (CPPA), China Radio International, supported by the Embassy of Peoples Republic of China in the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka.
Opening with a traditional Chinese Dragon Dance, and followed by five stellar drama performances out of mainly Tang Sulan’s children’s stories within the time span of the program, the launch of 60 Chinese children’s books in triple translations i.e. Sinhala, Tamil and English took place. Further was launched a poetry book by the famous contemporary Chinese poet, Wu Yingli, translated by Koggala Wellala Bandula, the chairman of Sri Lanka Press Council, coupled with a speech on poetry by the aforementioned writer.
The Chief Guest, the Hon. Deputy Minister of Vocational Training and Skills Development, Mr. Karunarathna Paranavithane delivered an inspiring speech on publishing and the cultural affairs of China and Sri Lanka, reiterating the importance of such a venture, i.e. the introduction and delivery of Chinese culture, in the form of Children’s books, to the Sri Lankan public.
The representative of the Embassy of the Peoples Republic of China in the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka, Delegates of the CPPA Mr. Cui Jianwei: Vice Chairman of the CPPA; Ms. Chen Xiu: Director, Professional Committee of Fine Art of the CPPA, Research associate, the Chinese Academy of Cultural Heritage, Member, the China Artists Association, Member, the China Hue Art Association, Council Member, the China Female Artists Association; Ms. Wu Yingli: Poet; Member, the China Writers Association; Kang Qinxin: International Director, Hunan Juvenile & Children’s Publishing House – Council Member Unit of the CPPA; and Ding Xiaohua: Deputy Director, the Business Development Department of the CPPA, as well as the directors of the Sri Lanka Book Publishers Association graced this occasion.
Besides the launching of the translated Chinese works, at the core of the event, as is self-explanatory, was the Sino-Sri Lankan Publication Cooperation Framework Agreement that the CPPA signed with the Sri Lanka Book Publishers Association.
In the morn of 19th September, the CPPA delegates met a group of academics at the Post Graduate Institute of Archaeology headed by Prof. Gamini Adikari, Former Director General of the Central Cultural Fund, Sri Lanka to discuss the Preliminary Work Plan on the Encyclopedia of Cultural Exchanges between China and Sri Lanka.
Mr. Cui Jianwei: Vice Chairman of the CPPA appeared on two Television programs on ITN and PEO TV on the 19th and 21st September respectively on the Initiative of Nationwide Reading Activities in China sharing their valuable experiences and emphasizing the commitment of the Chinese Government on this initiative.
On the 20th, Ms. Chen Xiu delivered a lecture on painting at the University of Fine Arts and later joined the rest of the delegation for a visit to Neptune Publications and Sarasavi Book Shop.
In recognition of the cooperation and enthusiasm for such a union, the CPPA presented an award to Mr. H. D. Premasiri, the president of the SLBPA on 17th September.
To informally reciprocate this cultural communication, the delegation of the CPPA paid a visit to the National Museum, the National Library and the Kelaniya Temple and during their brief stay grasped every ounce of Sri Lankan history and art that came their way.